Right now I am sitting in a Starbucks on the corner of West 55th and 7th sipping on a Salted Caramel Mocha off their Holiday Classics menu and I can’t quite believe it. Since before I can remember I have had this overwhelming pull towards New York City and as depressing as it sounds I just thought it would be another dream that didn’t come true. But here I am and what a time I’ve had so far.
Goodbyes to mine and Willem’s family and friends were the hardest things I have had to do. Leading up to us leaving I hadn’t realised how emotional leaving would be, I was so caught up in how exciting this big adventure I was going on was. There were a lot of tears but I just had to keep telling myself this is something I NEEDED to do.
23 hours of flying or something ridiculous like that were ahead of us. They went reasonably quickly with brief stops. When I say brief I mean like walking off one plane on to the next. Soon enough we landed at LAX, yes I sung Miley Cyrus “Party in the USA” with some disapproving looks from Will. Immigration was a lot less daunting than expected. I had visualised them taking me aside and deporting me, but apparently that just happens to international drug lords, not white girls from Stratford.
After clearing customs we were on our final stretch to New York. I was quickly getting over the plane food. I wish I knew at the time all food and drinks (including alcohol!!) were free and we could help ourselves. With this now in my knowledge I am looking forward to the flight home!
Flying across America was amazing. Willem was hoping to see all the wonders of the world such as Mount Rushmore and The Grand Canyon. All we saw was desert and a shitload of it. A quick 4 hours and we touched down at JFK. As we flew in the captain announced “If you are on the right hand side of the plane, you can now see one of the best views of New York you will ever see”. We however, were on the left hand side – so saw nothing.
We manoeuvred our way through JFK and out to the taxi stand to catch a Yellow Cab to our accommodation. I already had culture shock. I knew Americans were loud but wow, this was something else.
We were now on our journey to our first home in NYC which is in Bed Stuy aka the ghetto. We passed graffiti buildings, abandoned buildings, African Americans on BMX bikes and White Castle (we haven’t been yet, but from what I’ve heard it’s worth travelling to get to right?)
The place we are staying is through Air BNB which is a website where people rent out rooms in their house. This was perfect for us because it is reasonably priced and we get to meet people from Day 1. Upon arrival I was so happy with the place we had picked, Matt and Rick are awesome. Rick carried my bag up two flights of stairs, that’s 26kg up two flights of stairs! Best. Host. Ever! From the moment we arrived they were both so accommodating and have helped us with EVERYTHING! They have also introduced me to American Horror Stories which I’ll get to later.
So far so good in NYC! We arrived, we’re safe. Now time to explore.